21 Jul 2009, 12:14am
Latest Forest News
by admin

Tester Introduces New Montana Wilderness Bill

Clark Fork Chronicle, July 17 2009 [here]

Standing with loggers, outfitters, conservationists, hunters and fishermen who spent years working together on a plan for Montana’s forests, Senator Jon Tester today introduced his much-anticipated legislation to reform forest management to “make it work” for Montana.

“Our forests, and the communities and folks who rely on them, face a crisis right now,” Tester said today at a news conference at RY Timber in Townsend. “Our local sawmills are on the brink, families are out of work, while our forests turn red from an unprecedented outbreak of pine beetles, waiting for the next big wildfire. It’s a crisis that demands action now. This bill is a made-in-Montana solution that took years of working together and hearing input to create a common sense forest plan.”

He said his 80-page bill, formally called the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, will create jobs, protect clean water and keep Montana’s prized hunting and fishing habitat healthy for future generations. … [more]

Ed Note — Tester’s bill actually:

* Directs the U.S. Forest Service to selectively harvest at least 70,000 acres over ten years in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest if certain (unattainable) conditions are met.

* Directs the U.S. Forest Service to selectively harvest at least 30,000 acres over ten years in the Kootenai National Forest if certain (unattainable) conditions are met.

* Creates about 677,000 acres of new wilderness designation where timber harvesting and fire management will be banned.

Thus it will exacerbate the pine beetle and catastrophic megafire crisis. Tester’s bully PR release above is an exercise in political doubletalk. Enactment of Tester’s bill, God forbid, would be a disaster for Montana forests.

8 Dec 2009, 2:18pm
by Bearded Montanan

If this bill passes, the people of Montana who cannot afford to buy beef and depend on hunting will ultimately suffer. It will make life more difficult for those people because all of the roads will be inaccessible and they will not be able to reach their hunted game. I believe this will affect the heritage of those of us who do still hunt to earn our food.

In all actuality, this bill is pointless. There is very little traffic in these areas during the summer months and after hunting season. There is no reason that the roads have to be closed. They have been there for as long as the area has been populated.

8 Dec 2009, 2:54pm
by Mike

Interesting point, Beard, and a very valid one.

The area has been roaded since settlement, and settlement occurred around 10,000 years ago. Countless resident Indians traveled the same routes for millennia.

Lewis and Clark followed established Indian roads. They even hired a Shoshone guide to point out the proper paths, because Indian roads criss-crossed the region and there were no sign posts indicating which roads went to the Pacific Ocean.

Today many paved roads, and even highways, follow the exact same routes that have been in use since the Ice Age ice sheets melted.

Tester’s current push to deny the existence and influence of humanity on this continent for thousands of years is perverse and wrong.



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